We'll be together, with a roof right over our heads!
We'll share the shelter of my single bed;
We'll share the same room, yeah! Jah provide the bread.
We'll share the shelter of my single bed The next wall is utilities. Make sure you can pay the electric bill. Most often water is included in the rent. That leaves electricity, cable TV, Internet, and phone. You don’t need cable. Cut it. You do need Internet and a phone. Find a way to minimize that combined monthly bill. You don’t need an expensive smart phone plan, a land line, and 30 Meg Internet service. I come from a different era, so I won’t try to tell you what the best compromise solution should be for your life, but you can get by with less than you think you need. Obviously, you can control that electric bill, at least some of the time. Keep the thermostat turned down in the winter. Set it higher in the summer; instead of running the air conditioning use box fans. To paraphrase the song sometimes, “There ain’t no cure for the Wintertime blues.” If your apartment building has heat pumps, a winter like this one is going to cause you to run those coils even if you lower the thermostat. Expect a higher power bill. Build it into your monthly budgets. The third wall is food. Almost all Americans (myself included) spend too much money on fast food and convenience food. Take an honest look at how you spend money in this area. Charles Hugh Smith once said, “A healthy home cooked family meal and a home garden are revolutionary acts.” Flowerpot gardening on apartment balconies is a little too hard core for me, but we all can do better. You don’t really need that $5.00 latte from Starbucks. Spend the $5.00 on a thermos from Walmart. Brew your coffee at home. “Save money. Live better.” The Simple Dollar blog is a great place to learn about lowering the cost of consumables. The author specializes in finding elegant ways to live a full, rich life without buying into the lies of our credit based economy.